Nashville: Camping World, Costco and Johnny Cash Museum

4/15/14 Tuesday in Hohenwald,TN (Natchez Trace-TT)

Note:  we were exploring the Natchez Trace last year at right about this same time of year.  If you’re curious you can click on the Tennessee word in the Category Cloud to the right to visit those blog posts.

Cold as predicted but no snow. It rained throughout the night. D/S area has some wet at the edge.

As planned, we took off about 8:30 am, traveling for a while on my most favorite road of all, the Natchez Trace Parkway (National Park)

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We thought to turn to WSM 650 on the AM radio (the Grand Old Opry station) well before arriving at the Nashville Camping World at 10:15 am, We talked awhile with the salesperson. She commented that her gladiolas were really going to be upset. They are predicting 22 degree weather tomorrow morning. Ah Spring. We walked through a couple rigs, but no “winner” yet. On to Costco for nitrogen in the CRV’s tires and a couple grocery items as well as lunch. We were getting our gas there when the Rand McNalley GPS starting acting strange – showing us moving when we were just sitting at the gas pump.

When we did get moving it kept showing the car in places it wasn’t so it gave us bad directions. John was kind of feeling his way toward a freeway when he thought of my phone app: Waze. Why didn’t I think of it? So I got the address in the Waze just in time for it to direct us to make a turn towards Broadway and on to our goal: the Johnny Cash Museum. Oh yeah parking in Nashville – not so easy.

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John simply cruised around that block turning in to a parking lot. We found ourselves face to face with another car in a one lane spot but John saw a space to turn left into, a tight fit between 2 cars, that led us to a different parking lot. Whew! $10 for 1.5 hours. Not cheap. The plus is that we were at the back of the museum, although we still had to walk around to the front.

Johnny Cash Museum tickets: $14/senior.

Cash’s real (birth certificate) name is J.R. Cash. He was born in 1932 in Arkansas, one of 7 children. His father got into a farm program where he received 20 acres of cotton and farmed it with the help of his children.

Can you find him in his high school class? On his senior trip he realized his dream, going to the Grand Ole Opry, where he saw June Carter for the first time. After graduating he got a job at an automotive plant in Michigan.

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He returned to Dyess County 2 weeks later and enlisted in the Air Force where they insisted that he have a first name so he chose John. He was a Morse Code Intercept Operator using a radio receiver like this one. You also see reflections of images of Johnny on the opposite wall.

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During this time he met Vivian in San Antonio. When he was deployed to Germany he corresponded frequently with his love, Vivian. They married as soon as he returned home, in 1954.

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They moved to Memphis where he worked in a variety of jobs including appliance salesman. He also attended radio broadcast school while trying to get his break in the music field. After several attempts to get Sam Phillip’s attention at Sun Records he finally got a chance to record for him. Even then one of his band members dropped out that day. Nevertheless he recorded “Hey Porter” with the Tennessee Two. It wasn’t as huge a hit, though, as his next, “Cry, Cry, Cry”. It cracked the Billboard’s top 20. His next hits also were chart singles winners. His career song, “I Walk The Line” immediately shot to #1, staying in the top for 43 weeks.

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In 1956 he got to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. He’d always wanted to succeed in gospel music so he switched from Sun to Columbia records. He felt he had a better chance with Columbia because Sam Phillips didn’t feel gospel was for Cash.

Late in 1965 he was arrested for trying to smuggle amphetamines into Mexico. After a serious auto accident and near fatal overdose Vivian divorced him, unable to tolerate his unpredictable behavior and long term absence while on the road (about 200 concerts a year). By then Cash had moved to Nashville where he roomed with Waylon Jennings.

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He’d begun a relationship with June Carter who helped him overcome his addictions and embrace Christianity. By the time they married in 1968 they’d been performing regularly, with a number of hit duets like “Jackson”

Cash fell in love with the house on the lake at 200 Caudill Drive. As the original owner was having it built he talked him into selling it – to Cash, shortly before he married June. Cash hosted all sorts of musicians here, even Presidents and fans. The sort of place where music is born. When both Johnny and June had died (she in May of 2003 from complications due to a routine surgery, he in  September 2003 after recording the Nine Inch Nails hit “Hurt”), the house was sold to the Bee Gees singer in 2006. In the midst of renovation a spark ignited flammable preservatives used in the home.

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When our 1.5 hrs were up we were on our way home. Thanks to Waze showing where traffic is really backed up, we took a clear easy route right onto I-65, US 412 and the Trace to home. When we were well past Nashville our Rand McNalley GPS started working properly. Hmm.

Because we don’t expect rain for several days we pulled in our bedroom and unhooked the water hose, bringing our water filter inside.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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